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Pats seek improvement from slow start
by E. Marcel Pourtout
mpourtout@neighbornewspapers.com
March 19, 2014 11:34 AM | 1027 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>Paulding County senior goalie Nat Danquah dives to make a save during warm-up in practice last Thursday.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Paulding County senior goalie Nat Danquah dives to make a save during warm-up in practice last Thursday.
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The Paulding County High School boys’ soccer team has dealt with adversity throughout this season, from the inclement weather that hampered training throughout February to an inexperienced roster still trying to improve in varsity play.

The Patriots have earned one win this season but have optimism for the rest of this campaign.

“We’ve seen some improvement in the last few games and I’m excited about the contests we have coming up,” second-year head coach Zack Turner said.

Despite having 13 seniors on the varsity roster, the Patriots’ players are still developing fundamental skills needed to succeed at a high level.

“We’re focusing on developing the younger and even older guys because we don’t have many players who are on club teams and developed their footwork skills,” Turner said.

Senior goalkeeper Nat Danquah has been a nice development for the Patriots’ defense. Turner added, “Nat’s been strong in his first year on the varsity team and has come close to setting several team records such as saves in a game.”

Junior Jari El has moved from midfield to defense this season and emerged as one of Paulding County’s top players along with fellow junior, midfielder Cade Fairfax, and senior Chandler Collins.

The Patriots’ lone victory came against fellow Region 5-AAAAA squad New Manchester in a 4-2 win on Feb. 25, putting them in position to still have a winning region record and a potential state playoff appearance. This development would be a crucial step in the continued building of the Paulding County program.

“We’re trying to get a group of players that are well-conditioned and play the game with an understanding of soccer’s physical nature,” Turner stated. “We want opponents to know they’re facing a team that’s well organized and physical as a unit.”

The Patriots return to action Tuesday at Rome.

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